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Lack of buffer zone in Indiana may lead to bicycle accidents


Bicycling is an activity that Indianans may do for pleasure or for transportation. Some Indiana bicyclists may bike on paths that prohibit motorized vehicular traffic, but many bicyclists will find themselves sharing the road with motor vehicles. Unfortunately, sharing the road with these vehicles can be dangerous for bicyclists and may lead to bicycle accidents.

Some states have addressed the issue of bikers and drivers sharing the same roads by instituting laws requiring buffer zones of at least three feet, and in one state, up to six feet. These laws are commonly known as safe passing laws and strive to ensure that adequate space is allowed for bicyclists' safety. Significantly, Indiana does not have a safe passing law to protect bicyclists.

The lack of a safe passing law may mean that drivers will not allow bicyclists adequate passing room, and, furthermore, that Indiana drivers may not even be aware of the importance of allowing sufficient room for bicyclists to travel. This lack of space can put bicyclists at risk when they are sharing the roads with drivers traveling at higher speeds and in much larger and heavier vehicles. A driver may sideswipe a biker and knock him or her off his bike.

The severity of the injuries that may occur to a bicyclist who has been hit by a car or truck cannot be overstated. From broken bones to fatalities, a bicycle-car collision can be tragic and life-altering for a victim. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident due to a driver who has not allowed sufficient passing room or due to another form of negligence, you may find considering a legal consultation to be beneficial.

Source: ncsl.org, "Safely Passing Bicyclists Chart," accessed March 18, 2016

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